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bear to him a special warning from the Most High.

Among the different nations which,. in the days of Abraham, inhabited the land of Canaan, the people of Sodotn and Gomorrah were distinguished by superiority in wickedness. The cry of the cities arose unto heaven; and called for vengeance on the grievousness of their sin. The long-suffering of God was exhausted: the season of trial was fulfilled: the hour of mercy was past: the storm of fire and brimstone was ready to descend. Among these habitations of guilt Lot, the nephew of Abraham, had been unhappily induced, by the fruitfulness of the surrounding country, to take up his abode. He was a just and righteous man, faith St. Peter; and in seeing and hearing vexed his righteous foul from day to day •with their unlawful deeds (a). In consideration of his general righteousness, and from tender regard to Abraham, God mercifully pardoned the criminal conduct of Lot in continuing to dwell in so impious a region; and determined by a special interposition of providential grace to send him forth from the impending destruction. The two angels, the ministers of divine wrath, said unto Lot; Has thou any

(a)% Pet. ii 7, ?. .';..... .. 1. \ here here besides? Soft-in-law, and thy sons, and t/jy daughters, and whatsoever thou has in the city, bring them out os this place. For we will destroy this place: because the cry of them is, ivaxen great before the face of the Lord] and the Lord hath sent us to defray it. The, words filled Lot with dismay. That his wife and his unmarried daughters, inhabitants of his own house, and accustomed to look up to him for direction, would obediently accompany his flight, might be no presumptuous ex-. pectation. But for his sons-in-law, dwelling. apart in houses of their own, and free from his control as to the guidance of their personal conduct and that of their families, his heart trembled. He went out and spake unto them, and said, Up; get you out of this phce. :fpr, the Lord will destroy this city. How was the exhortation received? He seemed as one that mocked unto his fons-in law I His words seemed^ unto them as idle talcs: and they believed them not. They beheld terror painted in his coun-, tenance: they beheld the anxious earnestness. of his demeanour: they heard him announce. nothing less than utter destruction : they heard him announce it solemnly in the name of QocL What was the effect ? Hardened by the deceit* fulness of fin, they turned from him as an unwelcome disturber of their tranquillity, a trou£ 4 blesome

. i blesome and unseasonable interrupter of their pleasures. They regarded him as a dreamer; a self-appointed prophet of evil tidings; a gloomy and over-righteous enthusiast, searing where no fear was, and needlessly tormenting himself and others by discoursing of the anger of God, when no such anger existed, and of judgements and overwhelming vengeance never destined to take place, Heseemed unto them as one that mocked. They despised his counsel: they refused to fly for deliverance from that seat of corruption: and within the space of very few hours, they perished in the universal destruction of the guilty land. I proceed, in humble reliance on the divine blessing, by which alone religious instruction, whether public or private, is rendered efficacious, to apply for your edification those circumstances in the history of Lot and his sonsin-law, which are particularly mentioned in the text.

Perhaps, however, you may be disposed to say within yourselves; " Why represent V as applicable to us, the case of the most de"testable transgressors whom the world has ** witnessed? Are we, like unto them, sinners ^c above all? Are we the by-word and scandal "of the land? Are we, beyond all others, *f notorious for disobeying and disregarding

"relU "religion?" God forbid. But were not all things, which were written aforetime in the Scriptures, written for our learning Is it. foreign to the purpose, for which we are assembled, to set before you any example of divine indignation poured out upon wickedness? Do not two of the apostles of Christ, St. Peter and St. Jude, apply this very example to you, and to all mankind? Do they not aver that Sodom and Gomorrah, and the neighbouring cities, condemned with an overthrow, turned into ashes, and suffering the vengeance of eternal fire, are set forth for an ensample unto all that afterwards shall live ungodly; an ensample that all who shall thenceforth live ungodly shall be reserved unto the day of judgement to be punished (£)? Does not our Saviour himself apply to you and to all men this identical example? Does he not solemnly affirm. to his disciples concerning all who should not hear and receive their words ; and consequently concern1 ing all who should not receive and obey the gospel, whoever may be the preacher of it; that in the day of Judgement it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah, than for them {c)?

[b) z Pet. si. 6—9. Jude, 7. (c) Mafth. x. if. '...-" ,''.:.:.-. - I; Let

I. Let us in the first place attend to the exhortation addressed by Lot to his sons-inlaw; Up; get you out of this place: for the Lord will defray this city.

Consider what was the situation of these men. They dwelt in a city subject to the dominion of sin. They had constantly before their eyes the example of numbers living without the fear of God, and in the grossest disobedience to His holy commandments. They were continually exposed to the danger of being rendered, by becoming familiar with wickedness, insensible of the heinous guilt of offending God. They dwelt in a city which in consequence of its sinfulness deserved immediate destruction; in a city which, when time and opportunity abundantly sufficient for trial and repentance had been afforded, was devoted to immediate destruction. The divine mercy still extended to them one respite, one opportunity, one warning more. "To-day, if ye will hear "my voice, harden not your hearts. Flee "for your lives. If you linger, you are un** done. Get you out of this city; for. the "Lord will destroy it» Come out of this «* city, that ye receive not of her sins, and ** that ye be not partakers of her plagues." . ; - . _. - . . .':,; t .. .-.;: Such

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